A Brilliant Day!!

Today was such a great day on the art/design front, I can't believe it! First thing this morning, I met with one of my Ebay customers to hand off a package. While waiting for her at a coffee shop, I worked in my sketchbook - I don't get a chance very often to sit and draw for nothing other than fun, so that was nice. Then, to kill a little time between appointments, I spent a little time in Presents of Mind on Hawthorne. I haven't been in there for a few years, and I was just blown away by all the art/craft inspired items.

Next, I got to participate in one of the tremendously nice aspects to being a design student - field trip! And not just any field trip, a visit to the studio of the fabulously talented Amy Ruppel. Oh my gosh my golly, I don't even know where to begin. She was super sweet and friendly, and answered tons of our questions. She showed us her studio - I loved it! It's a long, narrow room filled with art and inspiration, with lots of organizational tools from IKEA (which I also love; who doesn't?). We learned so much, especially about things that haven't been discussed all that often in the classroom, such as independent selling, home office vs outside studio, how Amy got where she is, and copyright issues. Sorry about the blurry picture, I think my camera hates me, but this is a corner of Amy's studio.

After that, as if the day wasn't sweet enough, I went back up to Hawthorne for a while. There's a ceramics shop I read about a while back, and I'd been itching to go in and check it out. Now, I happen to love pottery and yesterday I dropped one of my favorite handmade milk cups. SAD PANDA! However, this created the excuse I needed to go look at pottery. My collection is to the point where my boyfriend makes fun of me when I pick up new pieces, so I either need to get rid of an old one or be prepared to hide the new one very well. I hated dropping the old one, but it was just about worth it to visit...

elsa + sam!

So much ooh-shiny! Everything in the store is made by hand, in North America and Europe. The high level of workmanship is evident in every piece. And the prices are really reasonable, especially considering the quality of the pottery. Right away, I was drawn to the work from Circa Ceramics, with its rich colors and detailed images. I decided that one of the small teacups would serve as a great replacement for yesterday's whoops moment. It was really hard to pick one. I liked all the colors, but was especially drawn to the green. Maybe because it was such a gray day here and the green reminded me that spring isn't too far away.

None of the green cups on this shelf had an image that really grabbed me and said "you will take me home!" When I asked Elsa (yup, I met the store's owner, how cool is that?) if there were any others, she showed me one sitting on the shelf near her desk. It had bumblebees! Instant squee. Here it is next to my calendar. It's really heavy and sturdy and fits perfectly between my two cupped hands. I love that I could get it from a local business and from American artists working by hand. In this economy, it's more important than ever to support local businesses, small businesses, and individual artists and crafters. Not just because I fit in those categories, either, but because such businesses are so vital for our communities. Each dollar spent at a local business circulates around the community many more times, doing good things, than a dollar spent at a large corporation. I really recommend dropping in to elsa + sam and taking a look around. Unfortunately, I had to run before Elsa and I finished chatting, but I will certainly be going back there again. Hopefully without dropping a piece of my existing collection.

All in all, a really brilliant day. Any day where I get to meet new and nifty people, learn more about the field of work that increasingly fills me with happy, and come home with a new piece of ceramics is a really, really good day.

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